The Mosts Accelerative Yamaha To Date
Yamaha YZF-R1 Acceleration
The 15-19 Yamaha YZF-R1 is the latest incarnation of Yamaha’s legendary motorcycle, and arguably the fastest motorcycle from the Hamamatsu Factory, and will be the first motorcycle that Motostatz will measure against the clock. Like all motorcycles that we plan to test, the Yamaha YZF-R1 will have its acceleration measured from a standing start in 10 mph increments all the way to its maximum speed.
Litre motorcycles have been chasing big numbers with each new generation of machine one-upping the last in terms of peak power. While we’ve seen models from all of the big Japanese factories lead the horsepower hierarchy at least once in the last 20 years, it has been BMW and their S1000 RR that was released back in 2010 that has lead the pack in terms of peak horsepower and straight line acceleration. The S1000 RR caught the big four napping. It took Yamaha until 2015 to respond effectively as their 09-14 YZF_R1, although an amazing machine was lacking somewhat in-terms of peak horsepower compared to BMW’s S1000 RR and also lagged a little versus some of its competitors too.
In 2015 Yamaha released the latest R1. Visually it was very different from the family of very distinctive R1’s it evolved from. Along with introducing new and advanced electronic packages. Yamaha had to close the horsepower gap from its rivals, and the current class leader – the BMW S1000RR.
To bring the new R1’s motor in-line with its competitors, Yamaha decided to opt for an even shorter stroke motor from that of its predecessor. The previous models’ short 78.0 mm x 52.2 mm was replaced with a new motor with an extremely oversquare 79.0 mm x 50.9 mm bore and stroke. The shorter the stroke, the higher theoretically an engine an rev – torque multiply by revs equals power. The new motor revs to a giddy 14,300rpm and makes a claimed 200bhp at the crank excluding ram air effect.
This is the most powerful R1 yet. As you can see from the dyno, peak horsepower is an impressive 181bhp produced at 13,500 rpm. Peak torque comes in at 79 lb/ft at 9300rpm. The peak of 180 plus has certainly closed the gap, and is some 20bhp up on the previous model. The extremely short stroke motor does have it downsides though as power and torque has been sacrificed below 9,00o rpm, and is particularly lethargic below 7,000rpm.
The short stroke motor is not only to blame, as tough emissions controls also means that much or the R1’s performances has to be sacrificed to meet stringent new rules. The US R1 variants that are spec’d for the Californian market and emissions standards can make as much as 15-20 hp less at the wheels comparing to non US spec R1’s.
This lack of low end torque is exemplified by the yamaha’s relatively high gearing. Pretty much all R1’s that came before, even the first of the short stroke motor R1’s – the RN12 all are significantly stronger motors in bottom mids and low end. The current R1 is nowhere near as punchy from corner to corner on real slow twisty roads. The R’1s motor is obviously mostly suited for track use with that almost perfectly smooth and flat torque curve from 9,000rpm right to the rev limited.
That’s a 5,000 rpm power band that if you keep the tacho in, you’ll fly. The new R1 engine is fantastic, but would need a little more down low to make it a class leader.
The latest R1 is a litre motorcycle so it goes without saying that it is ballistic. We have nothing to currently compare it too, but when we do we’ll edit the document accordingly. The YZF-R1 has long gearing but is a little hard to launch though despite this it still cracks 0-60 mph in an impressive 3.10 seconds. 100 mph comes up in 5.28 seconds just before hooking second gear. 0-150mph is cracked in under 10 seconds at 9.56 which is no mean feat and only needs fourth gear to achieve that speed. 0-180mph which really is the new benchmark for litre Superbikes arrives in 16.28 while that last 11 mph on to the Yamaha R1’s top speed of 191 mph takes around 34 seconds. It’s an impressive accelerative display from the R1, and we can’t wait to compare the Yamaha R1’s acceleration numbers with its rivals.